Vertigo

What is Vertigo?

Vertigo is not an actual condition, but is instead the symptom of a balance disorder. Although people with vertigo sometimes mistakenly describe it as dizziness, they are not the same symptom. Vertigo combines disorientation with a sensation of motion, which can make the room feel as though it is spinning.
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Causes


  • The eyes, muscles, and joints constantly provide information about the body’s orientation to the brain. The vestibular system located in the inner ear is involved with equilibrium. Even though this system is in the inner ear, it is not an ear problem. The vestibular system helps you stay oriented in space and plays a big part in the sensation of balance
  • Vertigo can be caused by many problems, most of which originate in the peripheral or central nervous system. Benign paroxysmal positional vertigo (BPPV) is the most common condition that causes vertigo. Other causes include
  • The causes of vertigo that stem from the peripheral nervous system include acute vestibular neuronitis, labyrinthitis and Ménière’s disease. Vertigo can also be caused by a wide variety of medications such as antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antihypertensives and many more
  • Diabetes, hypothyroidism, hypoglycemia, and food allergies or gluten sensitivity can also cause or worsen vertigo
  • Motor vehicle accidents, falls or other types of traumas or illnesses can also be associated with vertigo

Diagnosis & Treatment


During an evaluation for vertigo, Dr. Yoo will obtain a comprehensive medical history. This includes past health history, recent illnesses and any medication you are currently taking including over the counter meds. After the history is obtained, a physical examination is performed. This often involves a full neurologic exam to evaluate brain function. An MRI or CT may be order to help in the diagnosis process.